The Colts Cheerleaders inspired Lori to start giving back before she even made the team.
"In my interview to be a Colts cheerleader my rookie year, Kalen Jackson asked me if I could start a nonprofit organization what would it be and why. I said I would start one for Crohn's disease to find research for a cure. And then after that I was like, 'Why haven't I looked into that? Why haven't I become a part of something like that?'"
After she made the team, she did just that.
"I did some research and there's an Indianapolis chapter that I reached out to and last January, I hosted a fundraiser for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and we had an hour workout at Shred415 in Carmel and I raised over $1,000 for research."
For Lori, Crohn's disease is a battle that's personal. Diagnosed herself at age 14, it was lonely and overwhelming.
"When I was diagnosed, nobody we knew had this disease. We didn't even know it existed. So, I didn't have a lot of people to talk to and I really struggled with moving through the tough times."
Today, she's a nurse. And for young people at Riley Hospital for Children, Lori is the person she never had.
"Any of the patients diagnosed with Crohn's, I go to their floor and I visit them and I talk to them and kind of help their transition."
Soon, she'll be supporting her patients while she works to cure them.
"I'm studying to be a nurse practitioner and I want to specialize in gastrointestinal diseases. I want to do more research with Crohn's. So, it's just more inspiration for me to eventually help more people once I get to that point in my life."
Now going into her second season, Colts Cheer has given Lori a platform to help her heal and help others to do the same.
"I never talked about Crohn's until I became a cheerleader. I would sometimes post a vague post or picture on Facebook, but I never really talked about it because I still didn't have the confidence. I think I carried the scar that I had when I was first diagnosed with me and I wasn't really able to help it heal," she said. "When I became a cheerleader, I gained that confidence and the support from my teammates really helped me put everything out there to try to help as many people as I could."
Since making her journey public, she sometimes gets approached by people her who read about her journey on Colts Roundup.
"I was out in public somewhere and someone had read the story and they recognized me and they came up and asked if I was a Colts cheerleader," she said. "She talked about her daughter who has Crohn's and had been struggling with it. We exchanged numbers and I was able to talk to her daughter and establish a friendship and I got to help her through some tough times. So, that was really cool."
Lori still has tough days herself. But seeing everything she's able to do while battling Crohn's disease is enough to inspire anyone.
And Colts Cheer has given her a spotlight to shine in while doing it.
"This has been the best thing I've ever done. I auditioned three times before I made it because I just knew it was something I needed to do and it's changed my life immensely."